Improving Context Modeling in Neural Topic Segmentation

Linzi Xing1, Brad Hackinen2, Giuseppe Carenini1, Francesco Trebbi3
1University of British Columbia, 2Ivey Business School, 3University of California Berkeley


Topic segmentation is critical in key NLP tasks and recent works favor highly effective neural supervised approaches. However, current neural solutions are arguably limited in how they model context. In this paper, we enhance a segmenter based on a hierarchical attention BiLSTM network to better model context, by adding a coherence-related auxiliary task and restricted self-attention. Our optimized segmenter outperforms SOTA approaches when trained and tested on three datasets. We also the robustness of our proposed model in domain transfer setting by training a model on a large-scale dataset and testing it on four challenging real-world benchmarks. Furthermore, we apply our proposed strategy to two other languages (German and Chinese), and show its effectiveness in multilingual scenarios.